Aug. 24, 2001
Head Coach Cathy Klein -
"At the end of last year, we identified our strengths and weaknesses, based on our results. We felt like we needed to improve our athleticism and speed. We were competitive in all but two of the Pac-10 games. It took me a long time to come to grips with that. For me, it was the mentality of winning, the mentality of doing whatever it takes. We were so close in so many games. There's no way statistically that we should have lost as many games as we did."
"We have a whole different feel, a whole different look this year. We're kind of melding the old with the new. We're vastly improved...much faster, more athletic. We are definitely faster this year and proud of it. This is our first true recruiting class where we had the absolute pick of the country to choose the kids that we would hope that we could hang our hat on. I think our recruiting class has been better than we had anticipated."
"We brought in winners. We've focused on holding ourselves like champions. Champions, not necessarily by winning -- champions implies a certain and distinct pattern of behavior. We want people on the field that are proud to wear that Wildcat jersey, and for the first time, I feel that mentality growing. We needed to learn the mentality and the poise to hold ourselves like champions. I think that, hopefully, the team will always display pride."
"I think we focus on the steps that we are making as a program, and we focus on that longevity. You have to orient the focus to what's in the short term...the daily behaviors, the daily actions."
"I sincerely hope that our record this year indicates improvement, but I really believe that the steps that we're making will eventually change the record. What turns it is not necessarily a coach -- it's the mentality of being a champion, furthering yourself to a higher standard, and leaving your heart on the field everyday, not just when you feel like it. The goal is to feel at the end of the season like we have stepped over that `champions' line."
"Have we worked harder than any of the Pac-10 teams? No. We've worked as hard as they have, and for this program, that's an important step. You've got pride associated with fitness. You've got expectations associated with the level of play. You've got leadership and demand being placed from within. I care that they (the players) feel different. I care they're proud of who they are. I care that they've changed from being an afterthought, and they want to be a nationally recognized and as hardworking as our softball team."